Tuesday, October 4, 2011

You’re in for a treat today!


Unless you’ve lived in Africa, I can pretty much
guarantee you’ve never heard it sung this way before!

Let me tell you about one of the greatest delights of my life: Listening to, and watching, Africans sing.

They have full, strong voices and, unlike many American churchgoers, they sing out with resounding volume. Their music has rich harmonies and distinct, pulsing rhythms.

A few weeks after Dave and I arrived in Africa, high in the Taita Hills, within sight of Mt. Kilimanjaro, we stepped into a very rural Anglican Church, a stick-and-plaster building painted white inside.

We hadn’t anticipated that our entrance would interrupt the children’s class. I suspect white people had never stepped foot in their church, and we wazungu caused a commotion. Each little face turned our direction.

The song leader scurried to regain the children’s attention. Eventually, she convinced them to sing a couple more songs, though they turned and watched us while they sang.

I loved hearing the children sing. Their voices filled the room—a sharp contrast to so many Sunday school children back home who rarely sing louder than a whimper.

And here’s where you get that treat I mentioned at the top.

Thanks to a tip from my friend and former coworker, Carol,* you get to watch precious African children singing Baba Yetu, The Lord’s prayer, in Swahili.

Unless you’ve lived in Africa, I can pretty much guarantee you’ve never heard it sung this way before!

When you see this video clip, Baba Yetu, you’ll understand why I fell in love with African kids and their music! Just look at those beautiful faces, their bright eyes and charming smiles!

If you look closely, you’ll see something Dave and I witnessed in that church in the Taita Hills: People brought chickens and bananas for their offering (instead of money).

And did you know Baba Yetu is one of the songs in The Lion King II? How amazing is that in this secular world!? Click on this link.

Take a couple of minutes to watch these brief videos. You’ll be so glad you did! (And if you’re like me, you’ll want to watch them again! If all goes well, this lively song will run through your head while you’re driving the kids to soccer, folding laundry, and cooking dinner!)

*Carol and her husband, Jim, train Deaf signers
to translate the Bible into indigenous sign languages.
Be sure to check out their website,


  1. There is nothing in this world like hearing the sound of African children singing carry across the plains...I think the sound is so beautiful because they put their whole heart into it! Thanks for sharing that wonderful video!

  2. Simply wonderful and so touching so hear Baba Yetu praised by the secular movie and by the children. It touched me so much and renewed once again my love for Kenya and Africa. God bless you. xx

  3. Hi, Rebecca and Joyful -- I just KNEW you'd love that song! It has been going through my head. In fact this morning when I woke up it was in my head. Love it! I meant to mention in the blog post that the words, both Swahili and English, are with the Lion King II video if you scroll down.

    Thanks for stopping by!